Ford Racing Martinsville II qualifying notes

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus -- "I'm really happy with that. We have really struggled here at Martinsville lately and that was a horrendous draw. To go out fourth is really a big disadvantage, so to run that quick that early, I think, was a ...

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus -- "I'm really happy with that. We have really struggled here at Martinsville lately and that was a horrendous draw. To go out fourth is really a big disadvantage, so to run that quick that early, I think, was a really good run for this whole team. It won't be great when it's all said and done with, but, all things considered, it was a really good run."

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus -- "I just lost it a little down there in turn one. The car turned a little bit quicker than I wanted it to, so I just blew the second lap. Still, I'm pretty happy with this Jasper Ford. I think we'll be alright there and now we'll get ready for Sunday."

RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus -- "The guys did a great job. They tuned on the engine a little and we're just having fun. The good thing is that we tested here for two days and never made one qualifying run in those two days. We ran 450 laps of race testing, so we expect good things on Sunday. Today is kind of a bonus for us. We've qualified the well the last 10 weeks, with the exception of last week, but things are really going well here for the Tide team. I'm enjoying it and expectations are getting higher and higher."

KEVIN LEPAGE --7-- NationsRent Taurus -- "I tell you right now, my hat's off to Jim Smith and these NationsRent guys. We came here and were off a little bit. This is a new little race car and Martinsville hasn't been a good place for me in the past. We need to beat five cars in order to get in the show. If not, we came here as a team and we'll leave here as a team and get ready for Talladega."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus -- "We were fifth-fastest in practice, but it just seemed like it took us four, five or six laps to get going and post a good speed. That was a good first lap, we just didn't get it done on the second lap. I've been real loose accelerating off the corner, but after five, six or seven laps in the run, it would start tucking up. Unfortunately, we only got three laps today and I just couldn't get it done in three laps."

TODD BODINE --66-- Route 66/Kmart Taurus -- "The car did everything it was supposed to do. The Robert Yates motor was awesome. The car rotated through the middle and got in the throttle, it got a lot of forward bite. You couldn't ask for much more than that. I was lucky enough to be the one driving it."

DID YOU GET EVERYTHING OUT OF THAT LAP?
"I actually think I left a little bit off of turn four on the second lap. The car got a little wiggly and I didn't get in the throttle quite as good as I did the lap before, hopefully, it was good enough."

WAS THIS A SURPRISE?
"No, we were even close to that in practice. We ran a .38 in practice and ran a .20 qualifying, but we thought we had a good car. We felt like we had a top 10 car and here at Martinsville, it's about getting everything you can out of the car and getting that good, smooth lap. The way qualifying is, it's so tight from top to bottom that one sneeze the wrong way you're gonna be at the bottom of the list. If you do everything right, you're gonna be at the top."

YOU MUST BE THRILLED TO BE AT THE TOP.
"Yeah, it's pretty neat. We've already got two poles this year and was on the outside pole last week at Charlotte. Qualifying has been real good, but we need to get our racing better. The Kmart Blue Light Special team has done a great job, we're just going through a lot of growing pains."

MIKE WALLACE --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus -- "That was a good lap for the Mobil 1 Ford Taurus. I've got to take my hat off to this entire race team. They've given me a great race car and we were able to go out and show what we can do. We wanted to run somewhere in the 30s when we got done with practice. Peter (Sospenzo) said, 'Get me somewhere in the 30s. Anywhere in the 30s would be great.' We ran a .37 and, like I said, all the guys from Mobil 1 and Penske Racing did a phenomenal job."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus -- ARE YOU PLEASED?
"Not really, but that's the fastest I've run. I ran like a .35 in practice and ran a .33 just then. The front end slid around a lot on it and it bounced a lot and it just didn't turn good. That's what killed me in the speed. We ran a .34 on the first lap and I thought we could pick it up the second lap and get in the 20s, but it just didn't happen. We qualified ninth and that's okay. We can win from there, but I thought we could be better than that. Although, in practice, we couldn't ever get the speed the way we wanted it. When I went to qualify, I pushed the front-end worse than I really wanted to and that really slowed me down."

WERE THERE PROBLEMS WITH THE GRIP?
"Yeah, I think there are problems with the grip, but I think I didn't scuff the tires enough. I put a light scuff on them, so they kind of stuck but I probably needed to run them harder and get a little more out of them. I was getting ready to put them on and go back out, but the red flag came down and I didn't get enough time to do that but that's okay."

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus -- "I don't know what's going on here. We won the last race and now we qualify in the top five. I don't know what's happening. I'm gonna fall in love with this place if I'm not careful, but this is just a good race car. This is the same car we had here last time and we learned a lot. That's really helped us be comfortable here all day long with the car."

WHAT ABOUT THE GRIP ON THE TRACK?
"There's not a lot, but my guys worked awfully hard shock-wise and swaybar-wise to help that feeling, so I was able to let my car roll pretty good and that's been the key."

-Ford Racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates , Jim Smith
Teams Team Penske